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The Global Start Up Program: a public tender to hothouse Italian startups abroad


Fostering the growth and internationalisation of Italy’s most innovative startups is the goal of the second edition of the Global Start Up Program, the public tender organised by the Italian Trade Agency according to directions given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The tender will enable 150 Italian startups in the field of innovative products and services to access an integrated international development track designed to boost their technical, organisational and financial capabilities to approach new markets.

The tender is open to startups operating in the fields of ICT, robotics, industry 4.0, aerospace, the automotive industry, life sciences, smart agriculture and foodtech, circular economy, smart city and home automation. Applications to enter will be accepted until 22 June.

The Global Start Up Program offers participating startups a period of acceleration outside Italy, at leading international incubators. The programme will last approximately 8 weeks and will consist of mentoring activities, meetings with investors as well as networking with other startups and local companies. In order to take part, the 150 selected startups will have to commit to ensuring that the know-how and resources acquired during the acceleration programme remain in Italy for a minimum of 36 months. Ten countries will host the startups in this edition of the programme: Argentina, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Admission to the selection phase and to the programme itself are free. During the selection process, priority will be given to companies that did not take part in the first edition of the tender, with the exception of 20 spots reserved for participants from last year. Participation is subject to approval by the partnering incubators. The Italian Trade Agency’s offices abroad will provide the necessary assistance to the participating companies. The agency will cover the costs of return flights in economy class, accommodation, the acceleration track at the partnering incubator and accident insurance.

In the previous edition of the Global Start Up Program, last year, 25 of the 90 participating startups received offers of investment and some also opened offices abroad, thus boosting their business volume and their level of internationalisation.